- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2001

When Chris Chattin took the last long look over his shoulder, the exhausted 37-year-old from Columbia, Md., nearly turned all the way around.

With the finish line of the Annapolis Ten-Mile Run in sight and a comfortable lead going into the last 800 meters, Chattin could finally breathe easy.

He went on to victory yesterday in 54 minutes and 55 seconds, 25 seconds in front of his training partner, David Brendle of Baltimore.

For the women, Liz Scanlon of Alexandria said she led post to post, completing the 26th running of the race around Annapolis in 1:00:32.

The irony in Chattin's victory was that Brendle, who won here last year, convinced Chattin to run this year.

"I told him to run it, so I dug my own grave," said the 34-year-old Brendle, whose time of 55:15 in the 2000 race was the slowest winning mark in race history. He recorded a 55:20 yesterday.

"If he hadn't run," Brendle pointed out, "I would have run the two worst winning times!"

For a while, it appeared Brendle might repeat as champion. The leaders departed Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in conservative fashion, covering the first mile in 5:32.

Things picked up in the second mile as Brendle, Chattin and 42-year-old Joe Abernethy of College Park distanced themselves from the rest of the nearly 4,000 starters.

Runners were led down the brick-lined streets of historic Annapolis and into the Naval Academy, where Chattin made his move accidentally after four miles.

"I wasn't planning on going until later," said Chattin, who is preparing for the Oct. 20 Baltimore Marathon. "I was going for a water cup, and I ended up in the lead. I worked the uphill [bridge over the Severn River] real hard, and then I started worrying."

Rightfully so. He was only a bit more than halfway finished.

Then Chattin employed some knowledge that you only gain through training with another runner.

"I train with Dave and I knew he wasn't so good in the hills, so I wanted to go away from him early," said Chattin, whose only appearance here was in 1979. He has run as fast as 50:24 at the 1996 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.

Chattin passed the midpoint in 27:18 and spent the second half of the race in the rolling hills increasing his lead on the uphills only to watch Brendle cut the lead on the downhills to as little as 11 seconds with one mile to go. He never got closer.

Meanwhile, Scanlon said she got to the race late and did not have time to warm up but a mile into the race she loosened up. She hit five miles in 29:58.

"This was my best 10-mile time in six years," said Scanlon, 30, a 1996 Olympic marathon trials qualifier in training for her fourth Marine Corps Marathon.

Cecily Tynan, 32, of Philadelphia was second in 1:04:05 after placing fourth in 1999 and 11th last year. Defending champion 40-year-old Jill Hargis of Annapolis, coming off hamstring injuries and a bout with anemia, was third in 1:05:17.

"I didn't have a lot of expectations today," Hargis said.

Neither did Erika Beynon of Forest Hill, Md. But as she approached the finish line in the middle of the pack, she was greeted by her boyfriend of five months, Michael Cherry, decked out in a tuxedo and sweating profusely from standing in the sun. He was holding a sign that read "Will You Marry Me Erika?" and she quickly gave him the affirmative.

When asked about her finishing time, Beynon responded: "I don't care what my time is. I got a husband that I really love. I was so surprised at the finish line you can't even imagine."

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